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masters. Before the student shall attempt to identify the intervals attaching to the inflections marked for the quotations that follow, he should exercise bis voice upon the close iniections, upon different pitches, in order to avoid all errors arising from pitch. A syllable may be pitched high and inflected downwards, or it may be pitched low and inflected upwards. A very good exercise where pitch and inflection are both concerned, may be found in the following verses quoted by Professor Barber and properly inflected by him :
No. 1. “ Are they Hebrews ? So am I.
2. Are they Israelites ? So am I.
In number one the inflected syllable rises both discretely and concretely. That is, it rises in pitch and is infected upwards. In number two it falls discretely, and rises concretely. In number three it falls concretely; and in number four it rises higher than the last discretely, and falls concretely with stress. Barber has not given the intervals to be applied to these inflections; but I should not think a better reading could be given than would result from the following appropriation of intervals.
On number one, the third ; on number two, the fourth; on number three, the downward third; on number four, the fifth.
“ Back to thy punishment, False fugitive, and to thy speed add wings !” The syllables back' and 'pun’ are instances of the rising and falling fifth respectively. So are also the syllables 'false' and fu:' but these last are spoken upon a different pitch, being lower than the former. “What! looked he frowningly?” The rising third. “If I ascend unto Heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in Hell, behold, thou art there; if I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me." The first word marked in italics in this example may be given with the downward third, the next with the fifth, and the climax may be completed upon the word there by the intense form of the downward slide, viz. the octave.
" And Nathan said unto David, Thou art the man.” (Downward fifth.)
“I am amazed, yes, my Lords, I am amazed at his Grace's speech.” (Downward third.)
The instances thus far given are chiefly those used by Professor Barber, and I have selected them because they seem to me to be inflected with judgment. The quotations which he has inflected less judiciously, or where I fail to recognize the propriety of their inflections, I omit; not doubting, however, that he could read them with striking effect, and display the intervals according to his notation.
The upward and downward inflections have both been illustrated; but it remains to speak of the circumflex, which is a combination of the two upon one syllable, or sometimes a succession of the two upon a word of several (two or more) syllables.
The CIRCUMFLEX is employed for the purpose of giving a very marked accent, and is very expressive of certain emotions, as scorn or derision : it is often contemptuous, satirical, and insinuates more than is spoken.
“'Tis base and poor, unworthy of a mân,
To forge a scroll so villainous and base,
The circumflex may be used with effect upon the word 'man' in the quotation.
“How like a fawning publican he looks !
I hate him, for he is a Christian.” The circumflex or wave is advantageously exhibited on the first syllable of the word “fawning. Again, Shylock says, “What should I say to you? Should I not say, hath a dog money? Is it possible a cur can lend three thousand ducats?” Here the circumflex is used with great effect upon the syllables dog' and 'cur.' A wide inflection also, as that of the fifth, or even an octave, may be made upon the last, without extravagance.
“Oh! methought what pain it was to drown !” (The fall of a downward third upon «drown.') “Has war trod o'er them with his foot of fire ?” (Upward third.) “ Down, soothless insulter, I trust not the tale !" (Downward fifth on the first syllable.)
“ Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven."
This is a sentence where the upward and downward infleo
tions are used twice. The difference is in the pitch. If the same general pitch be preserved throughout the line, then the word "serve' should have the circumflex, which will mark the emphasis sufficiently. It would be easy to continue making many pages of quotations, and marking the emphasis, and indicating by conventional characters the upward and downward inflections, and even prescribing the measure of the inflections by the appropriate intervals, so as to give readings which would be free from objections, and indeed perfectly correct and elegant. But it would not be possible to say that these very passages might not be read effectively and elegantly with inflections and intervals very different, and in some cases perhaps diametrically opposite to those prescribed. *
Hence it follows, that the pupil is not to be guided solely by the particular taste or fancy of any master in these respects. And I can most confidently add, that any pupil who shall have thoroughly mastered all the resources hitherto inculcated in this work, ought to be competent to inflect and emphasize with judgment and taste; and need not fear to differ from any prescribed inflection which does not accord with his idea of good reading
If he have not by this time developed a taste of his own, it is to be feared that he has been superficial in his study, or that he lacks the natural ear which would qualify him to produce a harmonious reading of the English language.
* This is the reason why I have not marked my exercises for reading with inflection, as many masters have done. I choose to do it with a pencil when necessary, and not to bewilder the pupil at all with marks where he would not be likely to require any hints.
ERRONEOUS VIEWS OF EMPHASIS-INFLECTION A MEANS OF EMPHASIS-TOO
FREQUENT EMPHASIS OBJECTIONABLE, AS DESTROYING THE HARMONY OP LANGUAGE-A RETURNING MELODY TO BE AVOIDED-DIATONIC MELODY OF
BEFORE dismissing the subject of Inflection, it may be well to consider the object of these inflections a little more specifically, and to present some views on the subject of emphasis, for which they are designed.
Many teachers commence their instructions with the subject of emphasis, and finish with the same. And it is moreover with them the emphasis of Inflection, and no other kind; according to their view nothing else is required but to show by the manner of laying stress upon words, even in the simplest sentence, just what particular shade of meaning the author intended to convey. And for this purpose they apply force to every significant word in a sentence. Now it is true that the legitimate object of emphasis is to